Why swimming across Lake Champlain is just practice for 1 woman
South Burlington, Vermont - August 4, 2011
More than 3,000 miles from the English Channel, Charlotte Brynn began her quest to conquer "the Everest of swimming."
"Early last year I committed the goal of training up for the English Channel. My attempt is August 2012 and this is intended to be one of my training swims," said Brynn, who's training for the channel swim in Lake Champlain.
Primed for an adventure, Brynn greased up her skin to reduce drag in the water. By English Channel rules she is not allowed to wear a wet suit or ever come into contact with her support boat.
Originally from New Zealand, Brynn has lived in Stowe with her husband and children for the last 12 years. She says Lake Champlain is a perfect venue for training.
"It does offer me the opportunity for a vast open mileage which is tremendous to swimming," she said.
Brynn's husband, Jeff, was among the half dozen people aboard the support vessel that accompanied her across the lake.
"I've spent a whole more time on the water than I ever thought I would-- and I don't even swim!" Jeff Brynn said.
Brynn's roughly 16-mile journey will take her from South Burlington, Vt., to Willsboro Point, N.Y., and back. She'll start her journey in the sunlight and finish in the dark.
"It'll be that feeling of swimming into the unknown, not seeing land, not knowing where it is, so experiencing that and not knowing what might be lurking below!" said Brynn with a laugh.
A relay team comprised of three women swam beside Brynn across the lake, rotating in three-hour intervals.
"The training is rigorous. I don't think I could have put myself through it for myself, but she's so inspiring, I can do that for her," said Paula Yankauskas, a relay support swimmer.
Brynn says having friends nearby is one of few comforts in the water once the sun goes down.
"Great to have some company of knowing another swimmer is out there in the dark!" Brynn said.